Health & Fit Why Our Ancestors Were Protected From Alzheimer’s
This May Be The 1st New Alzheimer's Drug In Years
A drug originally designed to treat diabetes has reversed Alzheimer's disease symptoms in lab mice.In the study, published online this week in Brain Research, scientists from Lancaster University in England used lab mice to test how effective a diabetes drug known as a triple receptor was in treating Alzheimer’s disease. The mice in the study were specifically created to express certain genes associated with Alzheimer's disease in humans. The researchers waited for the mice to age before giving them the drug, therefore giving their disease some time to develop and damage the animal’s brain.
A pair of Harvard researchers is challenging what we think we understood about Alzheimer’s—and might have stumbled on a big clue for a cure.
Alzheimer’s disease has no cure—yet.
It was discovered in 1906 by its namesake, Dr. Alois Alzheimer. But it wasn’t until the 1980s thatbegan, so it’s , making the compared to other conditions like heart disease and cancers.
But two researchers are turningabout Alzheimer’s on its head.
Here’s how: Beta-amyloid, a sticky protein that clumps together and kills brain cells leading to cognitive decline, has been heralded asto cure the disease, according to . to find genetic mutations linked with beta-amyloid production or drugs to target the protein before it causes too much damage.
Could Melatonin Fight The Effects Of Aging?
Melatonin could be important for people as they get older because of the hormone’s role in sleep and circadian rhythm.The sleep hormone melatonin could be crucial for people as they get older because of the role sleep and the body’s daily rhythm play in brain health.
Butand , two Harvard researchers focusing on Alzheimer’s, are looking at the protein in a different way.
Since, Tanzi and Moir, have shown that amyloid-beta, a protein linked to Alzheimer’s, is actually antimicrobial, meaning it’s developing in the brain by fighting against something.
“We assumed that amyloid-beta protein in the plaque is just an abnormality that happens with age, but over the last 10 years, Rob and I discovered that the amyloid-beta protein actually plays a role in the brain by protecting the brain against infection,” Tanzi said.
This just so happens to connect with the body’s ancient immune system.
“Turns out, our most ancient immune system, before we had adaptive immunity, had little baby proteins, antimicrobial peptides, and when they saw bacteria or a virus or a fungus, they would stick to it and clump it up into a ball and the peptide would grow into a spiral like spaghetti and trap it like a fly trapping a seed, and that is one of the most classic ways that our primitive innate immune system protects us,” he said.
These Non-Drug Methods Could Help People With Alzheimer's Disease, Study Suggests
Some non-drug strategies may help to improve cognitive skills in some people with the illness. While there are no drugs that can treat Alzheimer’s disease and reverse the memory and thinking problems it causes, a new study shows that some non-drug strategies may help to improve cognitive skills in some people with the illness.
One of these known peptides is called LL-37, which Moir and Tanzi discovered was molecularly similar to the amyloid-beta protein. Moir and Tanzi started with a petri dish, putting Alzheimer’s genes in it and adding ato the dish. Amyloid-beta plaques built up overnight.
“This changes the paradigm,” Tanzi said. “People thought these plaques formed over decades.”
Along with the new hypothesis came the questions, though: Was amyloid-beta forming in the brain to protect it from something? If so, what exactly? Is there a way to ward off what it’s protecting the brain from? And, of course, is this?
“I was totally gobsmacked when I first heard this story. I was very skeptical,”, an Alzheimer’s professor and researcher with Mount Sinai, told The Daily Beast. But research Gandy has since seen out of Mount Sinai and Banner Alzheimer's Center in Phoenix made him think Tanzi and Moir might be onto something. There are also other amyloids in the body—in semen, that can help block HIV—that strengthen Tanzi and Moir’s model regarding the likelihood that something similar happens in the brain, Gandy said.
Why you need to pay attention to your brain health — and take a memory test
Maria Shriver wants everyone to know that there are things you can do to keep your brains healthy as you age.I was really happy this week to read that President Trump took a cognitive test as part of his yearly physical. I was also happy that his doctor spoke about the test and even directed people to take it.
, MD, a neurology professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis who researches genetic risk factors for Alzheimer’s but hadn’t worked with Tanzi and Moir, was skeptical as well.
“I was mostly surprised, I never thought about it as a possibility. It wasn’t that I thought this was so far out, I just thought, ‘This is new, this is very different,’” he told The Daily Beast.
The next step is to figure out how to stop the amyloid-beta before it starts, as researchers have found that treating amyloid once it’s already formed doesn’t work or halt cognitive decline.
“When you treat someone with symptoms already, it’s like trying to put out a forest fire by blowing out the match,” Tanzi said. “It’s like cholesterol: You don’t want to wait until you have a heart attack to start taking a statin.”
Tanzi said that the aim is not to wipe out the amyloid-beta completely but just to dial it down because, after all, it is protecting the brain—at least at first.
“But we do fully support that you want to prevent or stop it in its very first stages, 10 years before symptoms, you hit the amyloid,” he said.
Needing A Nap Does Not Mean You Have Alzheimer's
A messed-up sleeping pattern may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease, but a nap is not a clear cause for concern. People who develop Alzheimer’s may show subtle signs decades in advance, and those signs may be as innocuous as napping. However, researchers behind the study, published Monday in JAMA Neurology, say there’s no reason to lose sleep about a few restless nights. Scientists at the Washington University School of Medicine in St.
However, Tanzi said what would truly be ideal is to not have to touch the amyloid at all but to hit the microbes that trigger the amyloid. He and Moir, with backing fromand Open Philanthropy, are mapping everything residing in the Alzheimer’s brain by looking at autopsies in Alzheimer’s patients and those who are just as old but didn’t have the disease.
Tanzi said it could lead to athat would see if their brains are susceptible to the antibodies that cause the plaques. This would be true , an idea that’s long-been thought to be impossible in the Alzheimer’s world.
“The whole mindset is changing around Alzheimer’s to treat at the stage of pathology and not wait for the symptoms to occur,” Tanzi said. “You have to treat people before they have symptoms, like you treat HIV before it turns into AIDS and like cancer, you don’t wait until you have symptoms of cancer, you treat the tumor.”
Tanzi admits it’s unclear if this kind of preventative treatment will even work and, if it does, it’d be a long way out from clinical application. But still, in the face of a disease that’s been incredibly difficult to treat for 100 years, there’s hope. And this time, a new, different kind of hope.
Gallery: 7 things doctors want you to know about Alzheimer’s (courtesy Prevention)
Parents Capture Last Time Young Daughter With 'Childhood Alzheimer's' Says 'I Love You' .
<p>In April 2016, Keira Esposito's parents captured the special “I love you” on camera, having no idea it’d be the last time they’d hear the words from their daughter. Keira's 8 years old now, but she can't speak.</p>Keira Esposito, who is now 8 years old, was diagnosed with Sanfilippo syndrome, a rare genetic condition that causes fatal brain damage, in September 2015.
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